Leo Messi won the Golden Ball gala, after leading Argentina to the World Cup championship, and that was the most meaningful farewell to Europe.1. For the first time, a male football player, playing outside of Europe, won an award from France Football magazine. The feat that brought Argentina to the World Cup championship helped Lionel Messi win the most prestigious individual award.
“That’s it, it’s over,” Messi shouted, on Lusail Stadium when the 2022 World Cup final ended.Half a year later, he left PSG to join Inter Miami. Before giving the stage to Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, and Jude Bellingham, football once again honored him.
“I don’t want to forget Haaland or Mbappe, who have had a spectacular year and in the coming years they will win this award,” Messi said when receiving the Golden Ball for the 8th time.
In a gray suit that looked borrowed and with uncombed hair, Messi declared himself the best player in the world in 2009. That was the last ceremony that France Football broadcast from TF1.
“When they awarded me the Golden Ball, they didn’t even invite me out for a snack,” Messi once talked to El Pais newspaper.
At this event, the ceremony had a Hollywood version with a red carpet. Messi surprised with an elegant black Dolce & Gabbana set.
2. Messi used to be very bold. It was during the 2012 Ballon d’Or award, in Zurich, when he took a risk with his outfit: a polka dot jacket. “I don’t know, they offered it and I liked it.”
“The hair, the beard, the looks… He’s a completely different Leo. His wife had to do a lot of work with his aesthetic transformation. Antonela made it even better,” team accompanying Messi in 2012 explains.The victory of Messi – one of the two most followed players on social networks – helped the event gain more attention. France Football succeeded in hyping the gala.
What is more important is that Messi has asserted himself in the American market. A new world opens up for the Golden Ball.
Between the first time and this latest time, Messi thinks there are similarities. In 2009, Leo won the Golden Ball for the first time when he exploded with the historic team that Pep Guardiola created (the treble in the 2008-09 season). After 14 years, the title came thanks to the World Cup.
“I was lucky to be part of the best team in history and that helped me win many individual awards. I had many difficulties with the national team but never gave up,” Leo said about the two collective.Messi lived many years of suffering. Successes at Barcelona and failures with Argentina.
He once retired from his international career and then returned. Along with that is Copa America 2021, Finalisima 2022 and World Cup. Every tournament, he is the leader.
3. “What happened to Leo will never be repeated. Analyzing geniuses is very difficult. To achieve the same performance as your opponent, you don’t need to run 10,000 meters, 7,000 is enough,” Juanjo Brau, Messi’s physiotherapist, assessed.
“Messi’s football is also less injury-prone. This combined with advances in sports medicine, including nutrition, makes it possible for Leo to prolong his career for so long,” Brau explains.Messi is an icon. Argentines loved him like they loved the great Diego Maradona.
During the ceremony that France Football honored, he remembered Maradona.
“I don’t know how long I have my career left, but I want to continue to enjoy it,” the whole auditorium stood up after Messi’s confessions, saying goodbye to him.
Paris had many melancholy moments with Messi, and the heavy criticism he had to endure from PSG fans. The night of October 30 was his sweet farewell to Europe.
“Don’t go, champion”, Europe wanted to keep Messi but he decided to go on another journey. Fourteen years and 8 Golden Balls, the Messi symbol will forever stand the test of time.